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Cognitive and Non-Cognitive Peer Effects in Early Education

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  • Matthew Neidell
  • Jane Waldfogel
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    Abstract

    We examine peer effects in early education by estimating value added models with school fixed effects that control extensively for individual, family, peer, and teacher characteristics to account for the endogeneity of peer group formation. We find statistically significant and robust spillover effects from preschool on math and reading outcomes, but statistically insignificant effects on various behavioral and social outcomes. Of the behavioral and social effects explored, we find that peer externalizing problems, which most likely capture classroom disturbance, hinder cognitive outcomes. Our estimates imply that ignoring spillover effects significantly understates the social returns to preschool.

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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w14277.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14277.

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    Date of creation: Aug 2008
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    Publication status: published as Neidell, Matthew and Jane Waldfogel. “Cognitive and Non-Cognitive Peer Effects in Early Education,” Review of Economics and Statistics, 92(3), 2010.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14277

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    1. Cunha, Flavio & Heckman, James J. & Lochner, Lance, 2006. "Interpreting the Evidence on Life Cycle Skill Formation," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
    2. Weili Ding & Steven F. Lehrer, 2007. "Do Peers Affect Student Achievement in China's Secondary Schools?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(2), pages 300-312, May.
    3. Angrist, Joshua & Lang, Kevin, 2004. "Does School Integration Generate Peer Effects? Evidence from Boston's Metco Program," IZA Discussion Papers 976, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Patrick Bayer & Randi Hjalmarsson & David Pozen, 2007. "Building Criminal Capital behind Bars: Peer Effects in Juvenile Corrections," NBER Working Papers 12932, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Andreas Ammermueller & Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 2006. "Peer Effects in European Primary Schools: Evidence from PIRLS," NBER Working Papers 12180, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Daron Acemoglu & Joshua Angrist, 1999. "How Large are the Social Returns to Education? Evidence from Compulsory Schooling Laws," Working papers 99-30, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    7. Arcidiacono, Peter & Nicholson, Sean, 2005. "Peer effects in medical school," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(2-3), pages 327-350, February.
    8. Sandra E. Black, 1997. "Do better schools matter? Parental valuation of elementary education," Research Paper 9729, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
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    Cited by:
    1. Stephen L. Ross, 2009. "Social Interactions within Cities: Neighborhood Environments and Peer Relationships," Working papers 2009-31, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
    2. Micklewright, John & Schnepf, Sylke V. & Silva, Pedro N., 2012. "Peer effects and measurement error: The impact of sampling variation in school survey data (evidence from PISA)," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 1136-1142.
    3. Pedro N. Silva & John Micklewright & Sylke V. Schnepf, 2012. "The impact of sampling variation on peer measures: a comment on a proposal to adjust estimates for measurement error," DoQSS Working Papers 12-12, Department of Quantitative Social Science - Institute of Education, University of London.

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